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Catholic Seminary attacked by Fulani militia in Nigeria

West & Central Africa

Catholic Seminary attacked by Fulani militia in Nigeria

Fulani herdsmen militia have attacked a Catholic seminary in Bare village in the Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa State, northeastern Nigeria, and burnt down the seminary including dozens of other houses.

The Islamic Fulani militia were said to have specifically targeted the seminary and the priest when they attacked the community at about 5 pm on Saturday 19th January.

A police statement confirmed that “houses were burnt down, but there was no loss of live. But so far, we have deployed our men to restore normalcy,” the Public Relations Officer, Othman Abubakar, said.

Bishop Stephen Mamza, of the Catholic Diocese of Yola, said “the Fulani militia came in their hundreds and laid siege on the village for hours. The soldiers contacted while the attack was going on complained that they had no vehicle to promptly intervene. They had no vehicles for God’s sake and there were only four policemen stationed in that place and the attackers were up to 100,” Mamza said, expressing his frustration.

Cattle herdsmen

“Our Reverend Father’s house was burnt and there’s no house around that area standing now. They have burnt all the houses; all my parishioners have left. Nobody can live there, Mamza lamented.

A clergy resident in the community said, “I want you to know that this is a community to which residents are just returning after they were sacked by those killers. Houses that were earlier burnt have been burnt down again as their owners have tried to rebuild them; crops harvested have been burnt too.

“We have made a case for a military base to be set up in this area, but that has not been done for whatever reason. These attackers are known and the places where they have been mobilising to launch attacks on those communities are known; we have reported this mater several times, but the attackers have not been apprehended or dealt with,” the clergy said.

The seminary has suffered harassment by Fulani herdsmen who insist on grazing their cattle on the school’s property, destroying the crops and fields. When they were denied access to the school’s property, they launched an attacked on the seminary in May last year,  targeting the Catholic priest, Cornelius Pobah, who was shot but survived his gunshot wound.

 

Hassan John is West Africa Editor GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos

Image Credits/Google Images/Bishop Mamza/cattle herdsmen-Author

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